Sew down each side parallel to the original hems to take the bodice in to the appropriate size of your child.
Trim the excess fabric away
Remove the shoulder straps with a seam ripper and shorten to the correct length and reattach a 1/2 inch or so in from each side.
For a long dress you are done. For a short dress, once again sew a hem that mirrors the original at the length you want and trim. The excess fabric and then be gathered and attached at the bottom as a ruffle if you like or keep it simple.
This is Part 1 in a series to show you how to turn your Maternity Wear into Skirts & Dresses for your Baby or Toddler!
For this post we will be turning 1 shirt into anywhere from 2-4 Skirts for you little one. (How many you are able to make will depend on th original shirt size and new skirt sizes and length desired)
What You Will Need:
Maternity Tops (or you can make these using any fabric you have)
Sewing Machine and Thread
Elastic in strips that will fit around your child’s waist comfortably
Lace, Trim, Ribbon, Buttons to embellish (All optional!)
What To Do:
First measure you child or one of their skirts that fits them and measure your shirt to find the best placement of your cuts to make your skirts the length and fullness you desire and decide on a layout so that the patter (if applicable) is where you want it.
Cut across the Waist line leaving you a large ring that is already hemmed at the bottom and on 2 sides.
Cut up the side seams of the shirt and then cut in 1/2 across the width so that I had 4 Strips of material out of your 1 shirt (plus the top section which I have yet to find a use for, but Keep an eye out as it will be coming soon)
Because they are maternity the front of your shirt will be wider than the back section and it will also taper and get wider at the bottom so I was not able to make a skirt out of my top back 1/4 that was big enough for my 2 year old, but was able to use the other 3. (The section not used was added to my small project stash, but I may just make it into a smaller one for a friend’s daughter who is younger and smaller than mine…not sure yet)
Now your Bottom 2 pieces will already be hemmed on the bottom so you will just have to sew a pocket for the elastic and a hem to close up the back seam. — For your top sections you will need to create a straight hem on the bottom then the pocket for elastic on the top and up the back seam.
**Sewing your pocket – Fold over the top of your skirt about a 1/2 inch and sew at the bottom of the pocket leaving a 1 inch gap unsewn at the end. Now attach a safety pin to the end of your elastic and work it though the pocket gathering until you reach the opening again and then stitch the ends of the elastic together and close up the hole.
**Alt: You can also skip the pocket and stitch the elastic in place (this was my choice as it requires a little less material). All you need to do is start at one end of your piece fol the top of your piece over just enough to lineup with the bottom of the elastic you are using and make 4 stitches back and forth to secure it in place. Now stretch the elastic to the length of your material and sew with a zigzag stitch and be sure to back stitch at the end to lock it in place. (I used a triple zigzag stitch as it is more durable)
Tip: If you need to add length to your skirts or even pants look for a lace or eyelet trim like I used. It is pretty and functional adding a summery girly touch to your projects. It comes in sizes for 1/4 inch to 4 inches and can go a long way to extending the life of your little ones clothes!